12 Campaign Seeds For Your Next Great Campaign
Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #611
Eclipse of Dusky Terror
From Johnn Four
The evil Moon Goddess, wife of the Sun God, takes her orb in the astral plane and blocks the Sun God’s orb. The world is cast in permanent eclipse, a never-ending dusk where emboldened terrors gain stronger footing daily. Cults blossom.
Cordon Stavegrimace’s cult becomes strongest and leads the others in a bid to rule the land for his mistress, the Moon Goddess.
But the moon orb is starting to boil, and the goddess must gain quick victory or find a way for her horrific servants and races to flee to Eayrth. However, the Eayrth Goddess (and mistress of the Sun God) has other plans that involve a band of heroes prophesied to fight the dusky doom.
Vengeance of the Serpent Prince
From Johnn Four
A charismatic snake leads reptile men out of the nearby swamp to slither the city’s sewers as a new guild of thieves, kidnappers, and assassins.
Unknown to the evil King and Queen, the snake lord is their polymorphed youngest son who seeks vengeance against uncaring parents, the wizard who cursed him, and a corrupt city.
But the Prince must watch his back. Ss’Isiphus is the former leader of the snake men. The Prince usurped him, and Ss’Isiphus plots to lead his tribe again one day soon. But first he must win the back loyalty of his shaman S’Shassar who sees Ss’Isiphus as weak.
It’s up to the PCs to help friends afflicted by the new Thieves’ Guild. But will they stop the Prince to save the people or help the Prince to save the city?
Ring of Fire
From Jesse C Cohoon
Firelord Sunscorch wants to inhabit and reactivate a long-dead volcano called the Ring of Fire.
The problem is his plan will decimate a large portion of the countryside where thousands of acres of land and tens of thousands of people reside.
His accomplices in this task, the hot-headed half-fire elemental fighter/mage Blaze aided by his magma-terraforming elemental familiar Cinder, and his demon-summoning partner Blistered-Ash, have already set fire to a large portion of the forest where the PCs’ families are staying.
The ironic thing is, due to one of the PC’s magical items, Blaze and Bister-Ash’s powers are made even stronger. Will the PCs realize what’s happening in time?
One War to Rule Them All
From Johnn Four
Civil war threatens the region as villages and towns raid each other, leaving bodies, ruined property, and broken families in the crossfire.
A lawless giant with an army of orcs and half-orcs operating out of an abandoned dwarven mine leads the attacks.
Using disguises and false clues, he pits communities against each other to instigate a full-scale war.
However, the High Priest secretly funds the giant. He will swoop in when secular leaders are weakened from war to unite and rule the region himself. The PCs must foil this plot to save the realm from fratricide.
Ice Fortress of the Frostmere Barrens
From Jesse C. Cohoon
Ice elemental Hoarfrost wants to take over the Prime Material Plane by making everything icy cold, thus either destroying life or making it suit him much better.
Frostmere Barrens is his base, a vast Siberian-like plane that never thaws. It’s filled with all sorts of cold adapted creatures. A pair of Frost Wraiths, his subordinates, the bruiser Ice Pick and brainiac Brainfreeze, have set their sight on a town in which the PCs are staying and have killed several well-liked NPCs.
When Frost Wraiths kill someone, that person is raised as a Frost Wraith themselves. The more Frost Wraiths area in an area, the more the temperature drops. Once an area gets to be freezing or below, the temperature will remain frozen until the Hoarfrost himself is defeated.
If anyone in the town is to survive the cold snap, it’s up to the PCs to defeat the menace.
The Hidden Relics of the Mad Gods
From Johnn Four
The gods of war, thieves, and dark gnomes wage a capricious contest, pitting their followers against each other while causing mayhem and suffering in the world as a bonus. They’ve hidden several artifacts in places above and below the land and cajole their chosen champions to recover them first.
The PCs join the hunt at the behest of a mysterious patron. Soon, they are caught in the cross-fire as questers decimate villages, sacred grounds, graveyards, dungeons, city districts, monuments, and wonders in their destructive searches, much to the deities’ delight.
But the big questions is, what will the finders do when they discover one of the items, unknown to the three gods, is a god-killer? And what will the PCs do when they learn their patron is another evil god looking to slay his peers with the artefact?
The Mace of Justice
From John Kerpan
Two clerics are murdered and a valuable relic, the Mace of Justice, has been stolen from a temple in the coastal town of Portington.
With only the venerable and shrewd Brother Lloyd having any investigative experience, the clerics are looking to hire an adventuring group to help track down this important piece of the town’s legacy.
The culprit, a greedy hobgoblin named Hobby Nobbs, and his gang of goblin thieves, are hiding the mace in a growing goblin settlement located underground in the Ruined Forest.
In the same forest dwells the eccentric sage, Elbert Diggles, who will not only be a helpful ally in dealing with the goblins, but who also knows this small theft of a local holy object is only one of a large, continent-wide string of robberies.
Verdant Heart Bleeds
From Johnn Four
The sacred forest of Verdant Heart birthed the deep elves, the centaurs, and the first human settlements. Nowadays, it attracts tomb robbers and looters who delve into its many ruins, abandoned cities, and caves.
Worse, the forest is dying, despite frantic elven and druid intervention. And no one suspects all its secret sites are being connected by tunnels, which is the source of the disease and its spread.
A diabolical alliance between a clan of deep dwarves and dark gnomes, lead by the crazed Nine Eyes, dig furiously night and day. However, Nine Eyes is just a puppet of Alocer, a Devil Prince who seeks to turn the region into a new staging ground in his war against the Demon Lord Nehazrapon.
The forest will perish soon, and the land with it once deprived of Verdant Hart’s eco-sustenance, if the PCs do not defeat Alocer and his minions.
The Perilous Clouds of the Sky Realms
From Johnn Four
The PCs discover a strange cave. After much struggle, they clear the dungeon out only to discover they’re actually in a buried ancient airship. Serenity meets Forgotten Realms, perhaps.
Meantime, Cutlass Kroat has uncovered a similar ship far away and uses it to attack villages from the sky. Four more such ships await discovery, and soon war will rage in the skies.
This activity threatens Soar, King of the Rocs, and the war becomes perilous for all.
But all this is a precursor to an imminent air elemental invasion, for the Air Emperor will not tolerate landers tainting the sky.
The Hundred Kingdoms
From Loz Newman
Centuries ago, the demon Nazacrusider transformed a circle of rebellious druids into NecroDruids: monster-makers who set the world aflame to pave the way for a massive demon invasion.
Beaten back into a hardscrabble northern wasteland by empire armies and universally loathed, today they scrape together undead abominations to destabilize and harass the neighboring chaotic Hundred Kingdoms – remnants of the tyrannical Bronze Empire.
Dream-driven, the PCs (unknowingly: progeny of ruthless immortal former Emperor, Karna Rex) seek the Portal Keys (secretly: fragments of the Emperor’s soul) needed to kill Karna and let the demons finish their invasion. Kidnapped, they steal one of his flying galleons to escape.
Left Hook: Karna’s sneakiest ArchNecroDruid/Assassin is secretly helping them, because…
Uppercut: Karna Rex wants to close the portal and free his people from the Nazacrusider’s grasp.
The Thorn King
From Lucas MacKay
The Thorn King, a powerful rotting treant, strikes against the druids and their allies from his forest lair, trying to escape.
The Briar Crown. A remote valley where war between rot cultists and Rowan Brotherhood druids raged. The druids won and sealed the evil in a twisted forest, The Briarwood.
Now, evil stirs again.
Archdruid of the Rowan Brotherhood, Mendell Greenwood, will be a possible mentor and friend to the PCs. And Sabaall, a satyr, is a potential Briarwood guide.
The survival of the valley and all who call it home depends on the heroes’ slaying the Thorn King and returning his heart to The Hunting Labyrinth of The Rowan Brotherhood so they can finally finish things forever.
The high druid and his closest followers are actually cultists of rot and seek the Thorn King’s heart so they may release plague and putrescence into the land.
The Great Wall
From Craig Cartin
A towering cliff of water 1000 ft. high, stretching from south to north, effectively creating two oceans, one upper, one lower.
Villain: Red Havoc, Pirate King. This Vile Dwarven Warrior has a fleet of ships. The PCs’ home town of Shadows Edge has borne the brunt of these attacks.
NPCs: Absalom Shade, half-orc holy man. Vex Russman, halfling guide. Rorik Truefrost, human, secretly an ally of Red.
Setting: Shadows Edge, a floating city of wooden rafts, barges, and ships lashed together at the edge of the shadow of the Great Sea Wall in the Lower Ocean.
Stakes: Red has the town firmly in his sights. He wants to carve out a real kingdom for himself. Can he be stopped?
Left Hook: A fleet from the Upper Ocean attacks the town. Can the PCs recruit Red Havoc and his pirate fleet to defend the town?
Brief Word From Johnn
The campaign seeds contest is humming along well with 61 entries so far. That’s over halfway to my goal of 100 for your book!
Thanks to everyone who has entered.
Today I have a few seeds I wrote two weekends ago to serve as examples for you, in case you have some writer’s block.
I have also grabbed several seeds at random from the entries and added them too, giving you 12 hopefully inspiring examples.
A nice feature of campaign seeds is you can narrow them down with minor changes and they become great adventure seeds.
You can also mix-and-match or combo seeds to create a really wild campaign.
After the seed examples below, I’ve pasted in the contest and prize details in case you want to try your hand at writing a seed or two.
But hurry, as there is only a short time left to enter.
Ok, let’s get into the campaign seeds.
Enter the 100 Word Campaign Seeds giveaway for fame and loot
It’s time to kick down the door, kill the monsters, and get their loot with a new contest I’m running just for you and your fellow Roleplaying Tips GMs.
To enter, create a 100-150 word campaign seed using my 4 step recipe:
- Rat Bastard Villain with a goal.
- Interesting milieu with cool name, a great setting concept for adventure, and 2-3 notable NPCs who will stir the plot.
- Stakes: what are the PCs supposed to do and what happens if they fail? Make it personal.
- Left Hook. Knock’em off their chairs.
Enter The Contest Before May 23
Submit your entry using this quick entry form:
You can enter as many seeds as you like.
Entry deadline is May 23.
I’ll roll for winners at random. Each entry gives you an extra chance for the draw.
=> Field Notes Brand Field Notes 3-packs (Cold Horizon, 2 x Drink Local themes) paper notebooks
And three digital copies of each:
=> Faster Combat Course from Roleplaying Tips Publishing
=> Tabletop Adventures – Items tagged as “Gm tools” Deck O’ Names bundle from Tabletop Adventures
=> Feats Reforged, Vol. 1 (Pathfinder) from Total Party Kill Games
=> <http://shop.d20pfsrd.com/products/cj-rubys-exploding-aces>CJ Ruby’s Exploding Aces from 4 Winds Fantasy Gaming
That’s 18 prizes in all, so chances of winning are pretty good!
Best Entries Go Into A Book For You
If you remember the 3 Line NPCs contest from last fall, I’m running this one the same way.
I’m hiring Gem Cutter Robert to gather the best entries, edit them, and put them into an ebook. I’m going to buy some cover art, as well.
Then I’ll release the book to you as a Pay-What-You-Want title.
I hope it’ll have at least 100 awesome campaign seeds in it for you to inspire your campaigns for life.
If you have any questions about the giveaway, just hit reply.
+1 luck to you with the giveaway.